Wednesday, 28 August 2013

XO (Kathryn Dance #3) Review

XO (Kathryn Dance #3)
Jeffery Deaver

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Kayleigh Towne is a beautiful and successful singer-songwriter, and Edwin Sharp is her biggest fan. When she replies to one of his fan letters with 'XO', Edwin is convinced she loves him, and that her latest hit song 'Your Shadow' was written for him. Nothing Kayleigh or her lawyers can say persuades him otherwise. Then the singer gets an anonymous phone call; it's the first verse of 'Your Shadow' playing. Soon after, one of the crew is horribly murdered. Kayleigh's friend Kathryn Dance, a special agent with the California Bureau of Investigation, knows that stalking crimes are not one-off occurrences, and, sure enough, more verses of the song are played as warnings of death to follow. With a little help from forensic criminalist Lincolyn Rhyme, Dance must use her kinesic and investigative skills in an attempt to find the killer before more people die. 

This month I’ve really been bouncing around between genres with chick-lit, teen, fantasy and literature all taking some time alongside my usually UF reads. This is my crime novel for the month and I have to confess I like Jeffery Deaver’s books a lot. To my mind he invented CSI with Lincoln Rhyme years before Grissom entered the room. This is the third book with Kathryn Dance as the main investigator and Kathryn rather than a forensic expert is a kinesics expert – she can read body language and what people say to see if they are lying or telling the truth.

This time Kathryn is taking a few days off from work and meeting up an old friend, famous country singer, Kayleigh Sharp. However, Kayleigh has problems in the form of a stalker and when one of her road crew and an ex is killed, it looks like Kathryn’s vacation may turn into a bit of a working holiday...

Kathryn ends up working with the local police force in order to figure out what her stalker will do next. I really enjoyed the initial confrontations between the local cops and Kathryn – there are some amusing power plays and the differences in the type of investigation each would run. Kathryn’s interrogations are intriguing to read and you don’t know until after what she got out of the Q&A session which adds extra tension. There are plenty of twists and turns here as red herrings and suspicious character abound.

There are a couple of deceptive endings – where it seems as if the case has been wrapped up but the number of pages left to go suggest otherwise – and made the twist seem less of a surprise. However, this was a fun read with plenty to get you thinking and attempting to work it out yourself. I would love to see these in a film – it feels quite cinematic at times with the local area and locations well described and given character of their own. Added to which are some ongoing issues of Kathryn’s personal life and there is a nice balance between character and plot which many books miss. I really enjoyed the whole journey and still think Jeffery Deaver is one step ahead of many in this genre!

Recommended for fans of Patricia Cornwall and James Patterson. 8 out of 10 

1 comment:

  1. Oh I do enjoy these, but I know someone who enjoys them even more than I do. I'm so going to have to suggest this one. I love the way you say it gets you thinking. Nice.